Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ideas

Sometimes it's nice to get caught up in reading old material. Something you've written and let go of. Sometimes those things are just ideas. I keep track of mine in different ways, but most recently I started using Evernote. It's handy because you can sync between devices. So you can grab whatever happens to be nearby at 2 in the morning after the baby gets up to eat and you are wide awake and catch up on old ideas when you need some inspiration.

Another thing it's good for is rekindling my love for something I started and abandoned. I use Evernote to write out scenes or jot down a direction I want a story to go.

A lot of times, I forget things I write down. I've always thought that because I keep a journal, my brain is freed up for new information. Or that's just a really good excuse to be forgetful. How am I supposed to remember how much my kids weighed when they were born? That's why they have baby books. I wrote it down so I would remember it.

Maybe that's why I write anything I write. I don't care if I ever get published, even though it would be nice. I just want to be able to remember the story I had to tell.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NaNoWriMo and Other Things

So it's November. When was my last post? I don't even know. But here's an update on what's been going on.

Baby #4 arrived a little over a month ago.

And that pretty much covers it.

We've just been hanging out and adjusting to life. I had to get a different car to fit the entire family in. The farmer had been saying we didn't need to, but the timing worked out because one appeared on the lot of the guy we usually buy from.

Today was my first half-day back at work. Things are slow in the grain business right now, so they are letting me ease back in. With the other kids, I got to take 12 weeks off. Only 6 this time around. It sucks, but we'll manage.

I thought that being home for the first 17 days of November would give me a chance to kick NaNoWriMo in the ass this year. I even did my usual cheating, where I used something I had already hand written and not finished. I didn't start typing on it until way late in the month and I've only accomplished about 6500 words. Better than nothing, I suppose. This is one story I'd really like to finish, though. I think I say that about all of them.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Write What You Know...or Not

So it seems there is a lot of debate about whether or not you should write what you know. Like the same kind of debate that surrounds whether or not writers block exists. I had an idea recently that made me stop and consider my position on writing what you know.

As you may have gathered, I live in a rural area. The nearest "big city" consists of 40,000 people. To get to any kind of actual big city, you have to drive 1-2 hours, depending on what you're looking for. I like to write about rural areas and farm kids and small town experiences. I wouldn't feel comfortable writing about someone living in a big city. I wouldn't know where to begin and I think it would be obvious in my writing. On the other hand, that's where research comes in. I could study up on it. If I was going to write about somebody living 100 years ago, rural or urban, I'd have to research it. It depends, I guess, on the amount of work you want to put in.

On the other hand, there could be a downside to writing what you know. For example, my most recent story involves a girl and a grain elevator and a boy she meets there. Obviously I got the idea when I started my new job. And I encountered a few people who were the inspiration for my characters. But I feel like there's always the chance that people would draw comparisons to real people. And I've felt that way about anything I've written. That's one of the reason why I stick to YA. I felt like if I tried to write about a married couple or someone with kids, people would automatically assume it was somehow based on real-life, no matter if it was fiction or not.

Maybe that's just me being paranoid. Because writers write about adults and adult situations all the time without it being based on anything real. Or maybe it is real and we just don't know. Maybe it all depends on how good of a writer you really are.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hormonal Rant

I keep telling myself that I would feel this way even if I wasn't pregnant and hormonal and tired and irritable...but I guess we'll never know, will we? So here goes.

I'm over the internet. Which is funny since I'm posting this on the internet, right? I mean, generally, the internet is a good place. I can buy ALL THE THINGS without leaving my house. That's super convenient since I spend most of my time in the middle of nowhere with no access to any stores. I guess my issue lately has been with social media. It's just annoying. Or maybe I'm doing it wrong. No. It's everyone else that's doing it wrong. I don't Twitter like I used to, and yet I can still get at least 1 new follower a week. Which only leads me to believe that most people aren't following ME. They are following me to get a follower back. And I'm on Tumblr about as much...but I've always kind of heard that that is the place to be. So maybe I need to get back on the bandwagon.

As if you had to guess, it's Facebook that's giving me trouble. Every day I reminded of just how stupid people can be. Isn't that an awful thing to say? But I remember when Facebook was people posting updates of how they were doing and posting pictures of their kids/dogs/cats/cars. Whatever. Now...I can't even get on Facebook without feeling like I'm losing IQ points. So just stay off of it, right? Well, some people do still post real stuff. If I can weed out the crap, I get some good stuff. I just get really tired of all the political rants and religious opinions and the "post this picture of money to get money sent your way" and share this for a free Disney vacation, even though it's OBVIOUSLY not the real Disney site that posted it. I want to create one of those fake pages and post some phony giveaway just to see how many idiots will share it.

Yeah, I can tell this is getting mainly into hormonal rant territory. But it's based on real irritation. I promise.

I guess the easiest thing to do would just be to unfollow/unfriend every person or page that posts something annoying. But that brings me back to the point of just getting away from it all together. Plus, I'm kind of a nosy person and I like to keep tabs on keep up with some people. In some cases, Facebook is the only contact I have with certain people. That's a sad state of life, really. But that is life. People might have email, but they don't check it nearly as often as they check Facebook. If I can contact someone on Facebook and not have to make a phone call, even better. Because who wants to make a phone call?! That's end of the world stuff there.

So...yeah...I just need to get over it, right? Get off Facebook for a while? Take a vacation from the internet all together? Probably wouldn't hurt.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Because It's Been a While...

I was thinking of a post earlier this morning. And of course, I've already forgotten it. This is normal for me anyway, but now I can attribute it to pregnancy brain. Yes, again. I started a new job and then found out I was pregnant. They love me. Especially since baby is due around harvest time and I work at a grain elevator.

Something funny happened with this one, though. Not that I don't feel it's big news, but I just don't feel like sharing it. I mean, I don't normally announce it in the middle of a conversation or anything. It's pretty obvious now, so I think I'm past the point of people looking at me and thinking "Is she pregnant or just getting fat?" But the one thing I didn't do was a big Facebook announcement. I think I'm just over it. Yesterday was #3's birthday, so I posted a picture with the caption "This little nugget is 2 today. Guess it's time for another one" with a winky smily emoji. The people who need to know already know. There are a few people who know and have said absolutely nothing about it to me. So why put it out there for a bunch of people who really don't care anyway?

So there.

In other news, I'm still writing. Not every day. But it's progressing. I get really motivated when I get a new comment on TAKE A LITTLE RIDE over Swoon Reads. It's really encouraging that people are still reading it and liking it. I think at this point there's probably no hope of it being published by them, but that's okay. The sequel could stand alone, I think. If I ever finish it. Which I hope to. Someday :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

To the Past

Do you remember when you were in high school and you got dumped and it was the worst thing ever? Or when your crush didn't like you back? Or just something didn't work out the way you wanted? And now that you're a grown ass adult, you can look back and laugh. Or sigh with relief that it didn't work out the way you wished and hoped it would.

I've noticed more recently how Facebook can play a major role in those feelings of relief. I'm Facebook friends with a lot of people from my high school. And I might come across a post that will make me sit back and shake my head. AND THANK MY LUCKY STARS that things worked out the way they did. I mean, what if that guy I had a crush on had asked me out? He's kind of a loser now, so it's hard to tell. This other guy that was pretty popular? Has no reservations about posting what a mess his life has become. At least he owns it.

I'm happy with the way things worked out for me. I like my life. It's easy to look back and question the decisions you made as a kid. I've always told myself that one thing I want to make sure I teach my kids is that high school is not the defining moment of your life. You probably won't marry the person you date (you shouldn't! But that's another post for another day). You might lose some friends. Chances are, you'll make new ones. While it might seem like the end of the world at the time, it's really not. And you will be okay. I wish someone had told me that. Might have made it a little easier.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

From the River

So here's an update on what's been happening around here. About a month ago, I got a job (I know, right?!) and every day I drive about 25 miles upriver (north) to my job on the river. Literally, I swear. I am now a bookkeeper at a grain elevator. For a girl with an Ag degree, that's pretty great.

This is the lock and dam on the river. It's still frozen because it's March and it's still freezing cold. Where the f is spring?!

In other news, I'm still writing. That story I was working on? It stalled when I realized I didn't really have an ending. That's always great, right? I have like two more scenes to write for sure, and then...just end it? I suppose it will work.

Then today I was browsing the Kindle ebook store, looking for SOMETHING... and I started to read some reviews. Books that sounded good. Books that sounded kinda like mine. And the reviews were mixed. Some people like the predictable HEA. The easy romance. But a lot of people don't. It's too predictable, blah, blah, blah. So should I change my ways? Hell no. Because right now, I'm still just writing to make myself happy. When somebody wants to start paying me to do it differently, then maybe I will.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Winter Pics

So it's been very un-winterlike here lately. We're supposed to get snow this weekend, so we'll see. 

I walked out to the mailbox earlier and it was just pretty out. Nice bright blue skies and sunshine. If only it were warmer. But that's okay.




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Movin', Movin', Movin'

Guys, the words have been flowing. Like, on a daily basis. And the story is actually going somewhere. It's a really good feeling to be back at it again. It's frustrating when the words are there, but the story is kind of crap. And even though almost every first draft is crap, this one is actually crap with potential. I'm super excited about it.

The best part is that I've managed to keep up with writing and continue about my daily life. I think I finally found the balance. I'm not 100% sure how I did it, though. I wrote in my last post about the cleaning challenge I've been participating in. I think that has helped me to focus on the house and keeping it clean. Plus the kids have not been neglected. AND I still manage to find time to crochet too. Now all I have to do is find someone who will pay me to write and I will have The Farmer off my back about finding a job. I've been tossing around the idea of adding crocheted items to my Etsy shop. But crochet is so big right now, I'm afraid I wouldn't sell anything anyway. Much like my vintage stuff that's out there now. But I'm still playing with the idea, so we'll see what happens.

Well, it's nap time now, so I better make the most of it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015...so far

It's been almost a year since I lost my job. That's actually kind of hard to believe when I see it spelled out like that. But here we are. One of the things I told myself back then was that my house was going to be super clean. All the time. Yeah. Right.

For a while, I've been part of a Facebook group run by the website A Bowl Full of Lemons. Don't ask me how I found it, but it's got all kinds of organizing tips and printables to totally keep your life in order. Right now, there is a 14 week challenge going on. Each week, you focus all your efforts on getting one area of your home whipped into shape. Week 1 was the kitchen. Week 2 (this week) is the laundry room.

This has been a great thing for me. First, people post a lot of pictures on the Facebook page. Some are totally depressing because a lot of people have a lot nicer houses than me. We're talking spotless kitchens. And I have yet to see another one with carpet. But there are also people who are WAY worse off than me. I have clutter problems, but it's nothing compared to what I've seen there. Which is totally refreshing because it means my house is normal! 

Anyway, so I followed the guidelines set forth by this challenge. Mostly. I wasn't really thorough, but I got the job done. Sure my counters aren't completely clear and I didn't deep clean the fridge, but I tossed some gross stuff out of the freezer.

It's also not just about doing it. Not for me anyway. It's about keeping it looking halfway decent ALL the time. I've gotten better about keeping up with the dishes. And wiping off the counter and stove more often. Okay, so maybe I was just lazy before. But I've made a lot of progress.

The laundry room was probably the hardest. It's the most cluttered room. I don't know how it got so bad recently. It's got a lot of my crafting stuff, my overflow of yarn, shelves of blank notebooks. Plus, you know, laundry. So today was my chance to take control of this room. I now have a big bag of trash and a big donation box. There are still some areas that need attention, but the floor is clean and my mess is under control. Again, the biggest challenge will be keeping it looking this way as the year goes on. But I'm motivated to do it.

I'm excited to continue this challenge. There's another one going on over at I Heart Planners. This one only focuses on the kitchen, but there's a different task to complete every day. Junk drawer, under the sink, fridge, etc. Another great way to focus on things you may otherwise neglect. So hop on over there and check it out if you're interested. Maybe I'll get brave and post some before and after pictures.

Friday, January 2, 2015

It's a New Year

It doesn't really mean anything that it's a new year. "New" goals. "New" promises that you make to yourself and never follow through on. Whatever. I made some resolutions. So far, after day 2, I haven't had very good luck. But the new year is about change or some junk, right? So I've got the next few months to figure it out.

One thing I want to do is write every day. I might have better luck if I go back to the daily plan I used back when I was working. I scheduled all my evening hours with the things I needed to accomplish (like feeding the family and going to sleep), but I also worked in time to write. I stuck to it. For a while. I need to make myself more accountable. I need to have clearer goals, I think. 

With that in mind, I took a little Moleskine cahier notebook that I had lying around and I titled it 2015. I wrote down some inspirational words like that Brad Paisley quote that's been floating around and some lines from TWLOHA "Welcome to Midnight" blog post. I wrote down some goals. And I'm going to write one thing from every day. It's supposed to be something good, but we'll see what happens. In high school, I did the gratitude journal where I wrote 3 things I was grateful for every day. I'd hate to even read it now :-)

Anyway, back to writing. I started something new. And I went all in for at least a week. I've since petered out a bit, but hope is not lost. And I've even incorporated some of my ideas and concepts from the abandoned NaNoWriMo post. So it wasn't a total waste of time. Hopefully this new thing won't be, either. I think it's pretty good, so far. 

I'm one of those people that's influenced a lot by my dreams at night. I've gotten a lot of ideas and inspiration that way. This one came about when I dreamt of a guy from high school. It's the same guy that inspired the original idea for RURAL ROUTE. Even if it turned into a completely different story. That sometimes happens.

So, in conclusion, here's to 2015. Here's to accomplishing goals and getting shit done. Finally.